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LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
 
FSA LogoThe Luxury Hotel Insider: Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance. 
 
Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.

Image of the Day: Sandpearl Resort

January 26, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Guests at Sandpearl Resort can enjoy an al fresco evening while still being curled up by the fire. The luxury resort has a stunning location along a 700-foot expanse of the sugary white sands of the pristine Gulf of Mexico beachfront.

Sandpearl Resort

Winter Rates at Sandpearl Resort start at $327 per night >> 

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The Top 30 Hotels in 2012: #8 Don CeSar Beach Resort

December 24, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Coming in the #8 spot is the Don CeSar Beach Resort which is a beach front resort that’s located on the island of St. Pete Beach in Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. Here are a few fun facts about this luxury hotel:

- Features 277 newly renovated guestrooms including 2 penthouses and 40 suites

- Seven-and-a-half miles of beaches

- Two beachside pools

- Kids program with counselors overseeing the activities, allowing parents to rejuvenate at the Pink Palace

- After the sun goes down, romantic lighting sets the ambiance for the new whirlpool accented with a mosaic of tiffany glass, and surrounded by a lush garden and overlooking the Gulf shores

- Famous for their ocean front sunset couples massages in tiki huts on the beach

- 6,349-yard (5,777 m) golf course features narrow, palm-lined fairways, tightly manicured greens and Gulf breezes

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Don CeSar Beach Resort here >>

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The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #2 The Don CeSar Beach Resort

December 30, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #2 spot we have the Don Cesar Beach Resorta beach front resort located on the island of St. Pete Beach, on the Gulf of Mexico.

Quick (or in this case, not so quick) facts about The Don CeSar:

Loews Don CeSar Beach Resort- Known as Florida's Legendary Pink Palace since 1928, the owner named it after Don Caesar DeBazan, the hero of William Vincent Wallace's opera Maritana

- The hotel quickly became a favorite romping ground for the rich and famous of the Jazz Age including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Clarence Darrow, Al Capone, Lou Gehrig, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Pink Palace continued to attract the rich and famous throughout the Great Depression, thanks in part to a deal made with New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert to house his team during spring training for three years.

- After the sudden death of Rowe without a will, "The Don" was left to his estranged wife and began to fall into desrepair until the United States entered into World War II and the hotel was bought out by the Army for $450,000. It was converted into a military hospital and reopened in December 1942. In February 1944 the Don Ce-Sar became a U.S. Air Force convalescent center. In June 1945 it was ordered closed and was vacant by September. It was converted into a Veterans Administration Regional Office by the end of 1945.

Don CeSar Beach Resort- In November 1967 the Veterans Administration began moving out of the Don Ce-Sar. By spring 1969, the once grand hotel was vacant. The General Services Administration planned to raze the graffiti-covered hotel, but this was met with fierce opposition from local residents. In March 1972 the Don Ce-Sar was sold to Holiday Inn. The Don CeSar (now spelled without the hyphen) reopened on November 23, 1973. Multiple renovations from 1985 to 2001 have updated and added on to the hotel, including a 4,000-square-foot (370 m2) spa, a signature restaurant, and a second outdoor swimming pool. After the addition of the full-service beach club and spa, the official name of the hotel was changed to The Don CeSar Beach Resort and Spa.

- References in popular culture include: The Don Cesar is featured in a full-color two-page spread in a 1982 issue of National Geographic. Parts of the 1984 crime film Once Upon a Time in America are filmed at the Don Cesar. Comedian Ron White talks about his stay at the Don Cesar in the movie Blue Collar Comedy Tour: One for the Road. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers filmed a music video at the Don Cesar in 1985. Robert Altman's film Health was largely filmed in the hotel.

- The second, fifth and sixth floors of the hotel are said to be haunted by the ghost of Thomas Rowe. His apparition has been spotted overseeing the daily operations in the hotel, smiling at incoming guests and then disappearing, and walking along the beach front, dressed in a white suit. You can read more here >>

Don CeSar Beach Resort- Lowes Loves Kids and Loews Loves Teens programs offering unique and extensive services dedicated to the principle: "the family that stays together plays together".

- Lowes Loves Pets program featuring: Gourmet room service menus for cats and dogs, prepared by an award-winning Master Chef. Creature comforts like specialized bedding, leashes, collars, litter boxes (and litter), pooper scoopers and more. Tail-wagging amenities such as dog-walking routes, pet placemats, water bowls, treats, doggie poop bags and more. Purr-fect indulgences like rawhide bones, catnip and scratch poles. Pet-walking and pet-sitting services. Dog massages by a professional canine massage therapist, who works closely with you in the comfort of your room to design personalized treatment for your special "family member."

- The Don CeSar was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and became a founding member of the National Trust Historic Hotels of America in 1989.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at The Don CeSar Beach Resort >>

Be sure to keep up with our countdown! In case you missed it, here are our previously featured hotels:

#20 – The St. Regis Resort Aspen  
#19 – The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore  
#18 – The Peninsula Chicago  
#17 - The Tower Club at Lebua  
#16 - Auberge du Soleil  
#15 - The Mount Nelson Hotel  
#14 - The One and Only Maldives at Reethi Rah  
#13 - The Hotel de Crillon  
#12 - Peninsula Hong Kong  
#11 - Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi  
#10 - Majestic Hotel and Spa Barcelona 
#9 - Jumeirah Essex House
#8 - Atlantis the Palm Dubai
#7 - Hotel Le St. James  
#6 - Half Moon, a Rock Resort
#5 - Charleston Place
#4 - King George Palace
#3 - La Tremoille

Check-in tomorrow to find out which hotel got the coveted #1 spot in our countdown.


How to Choose the Best Luxury Hotel when Traveling with Kids

October 24, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

It’s a common misconception that traveling with kids means you cannot stay in 5-star, luxury hotels. While it is true that the industry standard is double occupancy, many luxury hotels are willing to make adjustments and modifications to best accommodate you and your travel companions. In order to choose the best room(s) at the best rate(s), we’ve come up with 5 tips to help you plan your next travel excursion, and ensure an enjoyable trip with kids.

#1: Provide the hotel with details including the number of kids traveling with you as well as their ages. This is to make sure the hotel is prepared for your arrival and has time to make the necessary adjustments to your room. Providing this information will also ensure that the appropriate adjustments are made, and that a crib is not added for the 13-year-old teenager traveling with you.

#2: Many hotels will be able to provide extra bedding for one child, but it is unlikely that they will be able to provide bedding for two or more children in one room. If you’re traveling with another adult and two or more kids, consider booking a suite, but be sure to double check with the hotel to find out how many people the suite sleeps, and make your travel plans from there.

#3: If you are traveling with children that are older, and the hotel of your choice does not have suites that suit your needs, consider reserving 2 rooms and requesting that they be adjacent, adjoining, or connecting rooms.

#4: If you are traveling with children that are younger and two adults, we advise that you book two rooms, request that they be adjacent, adjoining, or connecting rooms, and have one adult stay in each room.

#5: Be flexible, open, and willing to take advice and make adjustments as need be. Please be aware that all requests are simply requests only, and cannot be guaranteed until confirmed with the hotel.

We hope these tips ease the stress of planning your next trip with kids, and we wish you happy travels and a truly memorable experience!